OVER 150 PERFORMANCES ARE SET FOR
TNC'S 25TH LOWER EAST SIDE FESTIVAL
OF THE ARTS
MAY 22-24, 2020
Coronavirus will not quench the artistic output
of this fabled neighborhood.
NEW YORK, May 15 -- With the roster still building, Theater for the New City
has currently scheduled over 150 performing arts organizations, independent
artists, poets, puppeteers and film makers for its 25th annual Lower
East Side Festival of the Arts, which will be mounted virtually for the first
time May 22 to 24, 2020. All events and performances will be seen on the theater's
Events will stream from 6:00 PM Friday, May 22 to 11:59 PM Sunday, May 24.
Attendees will be able to select disciplines and artists from the website's
online timetable and index. The hour-by-hour schedule will be posted
on and after May 18.
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS AND GROUPS
as of May 13
- 13th Street Repertory Theatre, selection from "Handicapped
- Toby Armour, "They Will Come" with Richard Quint
- Charles Busch, TNC Play Excerpts
- Susana Cook and Timo Hughes, "Are You There?"
- Walter Corwin, "Curse of the Aging Fortune Teller"
- Selection from "The White Blacks" by Melanie Goodreaux
- "The Disputation," a play by Hyam Macoby, directed by
Robert Kalfin, starring Theo Bikel
- Barbara Kahn, "The End of Time" performed by
- Anne Lucas, an original monologue
- Ed Malin
- David McDonald in a selection from "Ella the Ungovernable"
- Stephan Morrow in excerpt from "The Assassination of
J. Kaisaar and the Rise of Augustus"
- Eve Packer in "Ms. Martha Says," written and directed
by William Electric Black
- Viktoriya Papayani, an excerpt from "Clara: Confessions"
- Austin Pendleton and Katharine Cullison in "Playing Sinatra"
by Bernard Kops
- Elizabeth Ruf in "Room with Stars"
- Yolanda Rodriguez
- Tabula Rasa, "Good at Heart"
- John Talerico, "Danny and The Deep Blue Sea"
- Textile Theater Company in "The Messenger" by Claude
- David Willinger, "House of Spirits" (a CUNY production)
- Bennet Pologe
- "Family Business" from by Tom Diriwachter, directed by
Jonathan Weber, with Greg Mullavey.
THEATER (Other Plays)
- Roman Primitivo Albear, UBU REX, Sandman
- Ana-Maria Bandean and Gemma Forbes, "Stop Kiss"
- Walter Corwin, "Little Red/Little Pink" directed by Dan
- DADAnewyork in "Eight Republicans" by Jason Sturm and
Robert Hieger. Featuring Jonie Fritz Zosike, Lois Kagan Mingus, Be LaRoe and
- The Drilling Company, Artistic Director: Hamilton Clancy,
in "A Midsummer Night's Zoom - Shakespeare in the Zooming Lot" with Brad
Frost, Kathleen Simmonds, Mary Linehan and Eddie Shieds.
- The Experimentals, "Double D" by C.S. Hanson, directed
by George Ferencz, with John Andrew Morrison and Jenne Vath.
- Folksbiene National Yiddish Theater in "Einstein/Weinstein"
by Dzigan and Schumacher.
- Nuyorican Poets Café’s Rome Neal in a scene from
Ishmael Reed’s "The Preacher and the Rapper"
- Bina Sharif, "The Award" with Sharif and Kevin Mitchell
- Chris Simmons, "Evans Dog Hospital"
- Teatro Theatre Group, scene from the play "Casa
Mañana" performed by co-writers Jerry Soto, Zac Jaffee and Zahydé
- Textile Theater Company, "The Birthday Present" by Claude
- Peter Welch, "Toshiba"
- Xoregos Performing Company, "Passing Fancies" by Donna
Spector, with Kristin Devine and Seth Leighton Hale, directed by Shela Xoregos
- Peter Zachari, "Coming In"
- "Kitchenette" by Ronald Tavel (Theater of the Ridiculous)
SPECIAL LIVESTREAMED "SIT AROUND" - Saturday
Evening, May 23
Individual performances at 8:00 PM, group discussion
at 9:00 PM
- Crystal Field
- David Amram
- F. Murray Abraham
- Penny Arcade
- Charles Busch
- William Electric Black
- Phoebe Legere
- Austin Pendleton
- Zoe Anastassiou, "Tequila 365"
- Stan Baker
- Izzy Church
- Epstein and Hassan
- Trav S.D.
- Wise Guise, "The Zoom Meeting"
- Ashley Liang Dance Company, "Flowing Colors of Charming
- Alessandra Belloni with Danielle Hartman, Francesca Silvano,
Peter de Geronimo, Fabiana Eramo, Danielle Lindsay, Juliet Gentile, and the
Silver Cloud Singers & Dancers, honoring the memory of Kevin T. Tarrant.
- Sue Bernhard with Courtney Lopes and Elisa Schreiber.
- Constellation Moving Co., "The Journey of the Birds,"
created and directed by Maia Ramnath, choreographed and performed by Michelle
Arvin, Susana Morehouse, Susan Voyticky Zepe.
- Dixon Place: selections from "Dance Quarantine"
- Glitter Kitty, "Desert Roses" choreography by Emily Vetsch,
with Desira Barnes, Chelsea Retzloff, Emily Vetsch.
- H.T. Chen & Dancers in "South of Gold Mountain"
- Kinding Sindaw
- The Love Show & .357 Lover, "SEVERED: The Tragic
Loves of Frankenstein's Monster (excerpt)"
- Wendy Osserman Dance Company, "Furious"
- Rod Rodgers Dance Company, Choreography by Kim Grier-Martinez,
- Sarazina Joy Stein and Emily La Rochelle, "Moon Map"
- Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, "Returning Vets
and War Trauma"
- Zullo/RawMovement in "Our Garden/ How Exquisite Eternity/
- The Love Show & .357 Lover
- David Amram
- Donald Arrington
- Alessandra Belloni
- William Electric Black
- Louisa Bradshaw
- Maude Lardner Burke
- Peter Dizozza
- Downtown Music Productions in "La Creation Du Monde"
by Darius Milhaud & Dance Cuba, composed by Isabelle Gann with soprano
- Michael David Gordon and The Pocket Band in "Come Together"
- Judy Gorman
- Bobbie Horowitz
- Frances Key
- Dawoud Kringle
- Micha Lazare
- Phoebe Legere
- Art Lillard Jazz
- Luba Mason (in performance with Al Jarreau)
- Susan Mitchell
- Eric Nicolas
- Mr Pablo
- Chloe Perrier
- Ruby Lynn Reyner
- Stuff We Like with Brian and Ashley Gonzales and special
guest Jenay Puckett
- Kalle Toivio
- Yip Harburg Rainbow Troupe
- Robert Varkony and Star 69
- Wise Guise
- "American Soldier," lyrics and music by James Rado, book
by James Rado & Theodore Radomski, arrangements & music production
- "Cyberbabies," book, music and lyrics by Craig Silver,
directed by Lissa Moira.
- "Lady of the Castle," a chamber opera by Mira J. Spektor,
directed by Lissa Moira, arias performed by Amanda Yachechak.
- Sheryl Gadsden singing "The Death of Women," a scene
from Theater for the New City's Street Theater: "SHAME or the Doomsday Machine,"
lyrics C. Field, score Joseph Vernon Banks.
- Douglas McDonnell, selection from "Tom Jones"
- Jonathan Fox Powers, selection from "Tom Jones"
- "No Brainer or The Solution to Parasites," book &
lyrics C, Field, music Joseph Vernon Banks.
- Yara Arts Group, "Winter Songs on Mars" created
& directed by Virlana Tkacz
- KT Sullivan
- Eric Yves Garcia
- Evan Laurence, "Gender Screwed Ya"
- Le Squeezebox Cabaret
- Aziza, "Left Out In The Rain" – Late Night – Put the
kids to bed
- Peter Zachari, "The Confession" – Late Night – Put
the kids to bed
- William Electric Black, "Dance, Dance, Dance, In Your
Underpants" – Late Night – Put the kids to bed
POETRY & READINGS (curated by Lissa
- Bob Rosenthal
- Brianna Bartenieff
- Chocolate Waters
- Coni Koepfinger
- Elizabeth Ruf
- Howard Pflanzner
- Jim Feast
- Jonathan Fox Powers
- Lissa Moira
- Lola Rodriguez
- Prince A. McNally
- Richard West
- Ron Kolm
- Selma Blitz
- Susan Yung
- Toni Hart
- Tsaurah Litzky
- Valery Oisteanu
- W.H. Jiggers Turner
- Bread and Puppet Theater
- Arlee Chadwick
- Chinese Theatre Works (Kuan Yu Fang and Steve Kaplan)
- Jane Catherine Shaw
- Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre
- Yuko Uchida
A selection of feature-length films and shorts,
curated by Eva Dorrepaal
- "Arlene's World Famous" by Jorge Torres-Torres
- "Box of Nails" by Mark Borkowski
- "Choke Artists," written by T.D. White, directed by Chad
- "Ding-A-Ling-Less" by Onur Tekel
- "Don't Be Like Roy" by Julianna Schley
- "Elegy" by Chad Gardella
- "Every End is a Beginning" by David McDonald
- "Final Position" by Nelson Farber
- "Inside the Cage" by Kenichi Nakajima and Yuko Uchida
- "Neverland" by Erik Wegner
- "Park 51" by Christopher Capelluto
- "Puta Libre" by Kevin Haeflin & Blaise Villars
- "Safe Harbour Amsterdam" by Jack Luceno
- "Scumbag" by Mars Roberge
- "The Lessons" by Alberto Ferreras
- "The Poet and the Professor" by Ariel Kavoussi
- "Tru Romance" by Celine Dayan-bonilla
CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL (curated by Donna
- Harlem Repertory Theatre (Keith Lee Grant, Aryistic Director)
and the Yip Harburg Lyrics Foundation (Deena R. Harburg, Executive & Artistic
Director), "The Wizard of Oz"
- Rod Rogers Dance Company Youth Program, Artistic Director:
- SFP Alvernian Drama Society, Director: Donna Mejia
- TADA! Youth Theater, Producing Artistic Director: Janine
Nina Trevens, Associate Artistic Director/Resident Choreographer: Joanna Greer.
- Brooklyn Irish Dance Company, Directors: Erin O’Donnell,
Stacey Cox, Mallory Silliere, Alexandra Owensby.
- Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, Director: Louis
- FunikiJam Music, Director: Brian Barrentine
- COBU Kids, Director: Yako Miyamoto
- Sophie Star, Choreographer: Andye J
- Theater for the New City After School Cultural Arts Program,
Directors: Juan Villegas and Michael-David Gordon.
- Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre, City Parks Foundation,
Executive Director: Heather Lubov, Executive Artistic Director: Erika Elliott.
- John Grimaldi, Juggler
- Michael Lee, Magic
- Frances Key (great-granddaughter of Francis Scott Key,
author of our national anthem)
- Michael Musto (columnist)
- Brad Hoylman (NY State Senator)
- Carlina Rivera (NYC City Council Member)
- John Jiler
- Candice Burridge
VISUAL ART (curated by Carolyn Ratcliffe)
Works in various media by:
- Anne Stanner
- Anura Thamardt
- Barbara Jaye Wilson
- Carolyn Ratcliffe
- David Barish
- Dorine Oliver
- Eileen Doster
- Gilda Pervin
- Ian Knife
- Joan Meyer
- Kathy Creutzburg Enos
- Klay-James Enos
- Kris Enos
- Lindley Farley
- Lorraine Forte
- Marina Reiter
- Mario Bustmante
- Meg Boe Birns
- Onno DeJong
- Pat Arnow
- Patricia Melvin
- Peter Welch
- Randy Jones
- Ruth Oisteanu
- Sally Young
- Stephan Morrow
- Surge V
- Susan Strande
- Susann Ferris-Jones
- Valery Oistenau
On Saturday, May 23 at 8:00 PM, there will be a live concert of performances
by David Amram, Charles Busch, F. Murray Abraham, Penny Arcade, Phoebe Legere,
Austin Pendleton and William Electric Black. Following their performances, these
major LES artists will do a virtual "sit around" and discuss Theater, Politics
and the Human Condition.
This event started in 1996 as a three-day, indoor and outdoor multi-arts festival
intended to demonstrate the creative explosion of the Lower East Side and the
area’s importance to culture and tourism for New York City. It employed two
theater spaces at TNC plus the block of East Tenth Street between First and
Second Avenues. For the past 24 years, it has been organized by TNC and a coalition
of civic, cultural and business leaders and presented free to an average attendance
of 4,000. This year, with obligatory separation caused by Coronavirus, it is
being mounted entirely on TNC's website, with the possibility of sharing it
with the world for the first time.
The 2020 festival is dedicated to essential workers: the frontline professionals
who preserve our daily lives. These include professionals in the healthcare
sector (doctors, nurses, EMT), government services (including fire, police,
sanitation, mass transit, National Guard); public utilities, post office and
other delivery services; private industries including eldercare, airports, food
service workers, grocery store clerks and workers in such jobs as cashiers,
stock clerks, security, airport, gas station attendants, pharmacists, funeral
home workers, news providers, homeless services, food pantry workers and volunteers,
janitorial staff, radio and TV engineers, communications network providers and
The concept of the festival was developed by Crystal Field, Executive Artistic
Director of TNC and Esther Cartegena (d. 2006), President of Loisaida, Inc.,
to portray the Lower East Side (LES) as a haven for artists and artistic creation.
The region is a unique multi-ethnic community with an unusually high level of
artistic vitality. Large populations with differing languages and cultures coexist
there successfully and a large artistic population helps glue the neighborhood
together. Its theaters are also an unprecedented source of tourism. Sam Shepard's
Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Buried Child," was commissioned and first produced
by TNC. The committee envisioned an event that would demonstrate the region’s
cultural fervor, its large artistic population and its multiplicity of ethnic
influences to contradict the neighborhood's stereotype as a dangerous refuge
for drug dealers and criminal activity.
The first festival, presented June 14 to 16, 1996, featured over 100 attractions,
drew favorable press and attracted crowds from all around the City. Its success
prompted TNC to continue the festival as an annual event.
Disciplines presented have always included theater, music, dance, poetry, puppetry,
cabaret, visual art, film and kids' programming.
Festival Director Crystal Field. Assistant Director Tegan Georges. Emcees of
the 2020 Festival: Crystal Field, Robert Gonzales, Alberto Minero, Sabura Rashid
and Susan Hemley. Curators: Crystal Field (Theater and Dance), Lissa Moira (Poetry),
Carolyn Ratcliff (Fine Arts), Donna Mejia (Kids' Performances) and Eva Dorrepaal
(Film). Technical staff: David Aronson, John David West, Brian Park, Roy Chang
and Alexander Bartenieff.
The LES Festival is created and organized by The LES Committee: David Aronson,
Alex Bartenieff, Briana Bartenieff, Roy Chang, Robert Chin, Walter Corwin, Katherine
Cullinson, Eva Dorrepaal, Myrna Duarte, Carol Dudjen, Crystal Field, Matthew
Fitzgerald, Andrea Fulton, Tegan Georges, Robert Gonzales Jr., Melanie Goodreaux,
Robert Greer, Alan Hanna, Susan Hemley, Barbara Kahn, Dan Kelley, Anne Lucas,
Ed Malin, Donna Mejia, Lissa Moira, Stephan Morrow, Brian Park, Emily Pezzella,
Richard Ploetz, Carolyn Ratcliffe, Liana Rosario, Ramiro Sandoval, Ed Shea,
Jonathan Slaff, David Slone, Claude Solnik, Mackenzie Surbey, Mary Tierney,
Jenne Vath, Juan Villegas, Jimmy Walker, Richard Weber, Jonathan Weber, Peter
Welch, John David West, Richard West, Suki Weston & Steve Hansen.
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PHOTOS ARE AVAILABLE at https://photos.app.goo.gl/FZwNmzr82ERSUwDQA.